What is present at almost every shopping center, but usually tucked away in a hard-to-find place? Answer: the property management office.
At Washington Prime Group–owned shopping centers, it may be only a matter of time before the oft-secluded mall-management office becomes a thing of the past. As part of an overhaul of its property-management division, the Columbus, Ohio–based retail REIT is testing a program that places its general managers front and center by having them work from areas in center court. Specifically, at several properties, the company is building unenclosed workstations — called The Hub — to serve as a home base for general managers and staff. By putting these teams in closer proximity to shoppers and tenants, the company anticipates that managers will be able to respond more readily to emergent issues or to spot ways for making improvements to the merchandising, among other things. "General managers are the lifeblood of our company and should be front and center in order to react quickly," said CEO Louis G. Conforti.
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